O'Neill: Winning will keep stars at Sunderland

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill says victories like their one over Manchester City will help them keep their best players.

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill says victories like their one over Manchester City will help them keep their best players.

Ultimately, every player has his price, but O’Neill is convinced that if he can turn Sunderland into a top 10 side it would reduce the chances of the club’s best players moving on.

“In my third year at Aston Villa, I was getting on very well with the owner at the time, and he gave me money to spend,” he told the Sunday Sun. “We spent it on players who would, hopefully, keep us hovering around the top six, which it did.

“I was hoping that the likes James Milner and Ashley Young would go on and experience that and we were getting there.

“But the lure of other clubs coming in is very strong and of course it sets you back when you are building towards something and then you lose players because they want to go and have success pretty quickly – and almost guaranteed success – at a club like Manchester City.

“It is difficult to hold on to your best players in those circumstances. But, like everything else, the difficulty is not insurmountable.

“If we could get things going with people wanting to play here and believing we have a chance of doing something, then we would have a better chance of holding on to our best players.”

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